Beginning Monday, traffic will be rerouted around the Washington Avenue and Independence Drive intersection.

Work is slated to begin Monday to construct the new roundabout to replace the signalized intersection.

The intersection is scheduled to be closed for 60 days, but the contractor has said the work will not take that long to complete, according to City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann.

Also this week, paving of Independence Drive from Highway 50 to Washington Avenue will begin.

In February, aldermen approved the $981,187 bid by Jokerst Paving and Contracting, Festus, for the street work. The estimated cost was more than $1,073,000.

The scope of work includes resurfacing, and installation of new curb and gutter from Highway 50 to Highway 47.

The traffic light at the intersection has alternated between both a flashing four-way lighted intersection and a timed light intersection several times during the past four years.

The light was changed to a four-way stop during only evening and night hours in April 2008, and then later to a four-way stop 24 hours a day.

Some residents have complained that the four-way stop is unsafe and confusing.

City officials have said roundabouts are safer and less costly to maintain than a lighted intersection.

At roundabouts, vehicles travel counterclockwise around a raised center island, with entering traffic yielding the right of way to circulating traffic. Once there is a gap in traffic, drivers enter the circle and proceed to their exit. If there is no traffic in the roundabout they enter without yielding.

Roundabout intersections are “pedestrian friendly” and cheaper than a signalized intersection, officials have said.


There are two proposed alternatives to the project, which are included in the $981,187 bid.

The northbound turn lane on Wildcat Drive into Union High School. The lane is located near the driveway of the Union R-XI administrative offices.

There also will be portions of the roadway that will have a paving fabric laid.

The fabric is applied under asphalt to minimize the amount of surface water that gets under the pavement and prevents cracks in the road from surfacing.


Zimmermann presented the board with a traffic study that shows where traffic will be detoured during the construction project

Traffic traveling south on Highway A will be detoured onto Highway BB to Highway 50.

Traffic from Highway 47 will be detoured to Grandview Drive.

Zimmermann noted that there will be signs along the detour routes.